Fresno shooting: Two hit, but dead man not found for hours

Police Chief Dyer talks about Halloween shooting

Fresno police Chief Jerry Dyer speaks about the shooting in Central Fresno on Halloween.
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Fresno police Chief Jerry Dyer speaks about the shooting in Central Fresno on Halloween.

A Saturday night shooting in central Fresno left one man wounded and other man dead, his body going undiscovered until early Sunday morning, police said.

On Monday, the Fresno County Sheriff-Coroner's Office identified the dead man as Javanta Evans, 25, of Fresno. He was shot on his birthday.

Police Chief Jerry Dyer said the shooting happened around 10:20 p.m. at East Vassar and North Glenn avenues. Police found a 27-year-old man with a gunshot wound on his shoulder. He was transported to Community Regional Medical Center and with non-lethal injuries and was released later Sunday.

Officers learned the men were standing in a vacant field toward the northeast corner of Glenn and Vassar when many gunshots were fired in their direction. Dyer said police found more than 40 shell casings.

The 27-year-old ran and ended up at 2227 N. Glenn Ave., where officers found him. The man told officers he believed another man had been shot.

Police searched the area on foot and by helicopter, but didn’t find the second victim that night.

Around 6 a.m. Sunday a nearby resident called police saying they thought a dead person was lying in their front yard. Evans was found next to a fence by a Dumpster, foliage partially blocking him from view. Police determined he is the second shooting victim.

“We know that there were witnesses in the area,” Dyer said. “We absolutely believe that someone knows who is responsible for the shooting.”

Police haven’t determined the motive yet but believe it might be gang-related or related to recent shootings in Northwest Fresno. They received a Crime Stoppers tip about a possible suspect and are following investigative leads.

“Our investigators are trying to determine if in fact all of these shootings are related,” he said.

This is the 37th murder in Fresno this year. At this time last year there were 42 murders. Dyer said shootings are up 32 percent this year over last.

Dyer urged anyone with information about the shooting to come forward. Witnesses can call Detective Ignacio Ruiz at 559-621-2443 or Crime Stoppers at 559-498-7867 for anonymous tips.

Andrea Castillo: 559-441-6279, @andreamcastillo